Boise State gears up for new presidential search

The do-over for the Boise State University president’s search is about to get underway.

On Tuesday morning the State Board of Education announced that the university entered into a contract with the California-based executive search firm Storbeck Pimentel and Associates to conduct a nationwide search for Boise State’s next president.

Storbeck Pimentel will be busy in Idaho in the coming months — it’s the same firm that was hired to lead the University of Idaho’s presidential search.

The Boise State contract is valued at $78,400, plus expenses, just like Idaho’s. Both searches will play out over the same time period, as State Board officials hope to have both the Vandals’ and Broncos’ next presidents on the job by July 1.

Linda Clark

“We will get started right away putting together our screening committee, which will include student, faculty and staff representatives among others,” State Board President Linda Clark said in a written statement. “We will seek input from the Boise State campus community and we will keep them informed throughout the process.”

This marks the dawn of the second presidential search at Boise State in the past year. It all started when former President Bob Kustra announced his retirement plans in November 2017. After that, the State Board signed a contract with a consulting group called AGB Search to find Kustra’s replacement. AGB produced 53 candidates.

However, on May 17 the State Board voted to end that search without hiring one of the three finalists. Instead, the State Board named longtime faculty member and administrator Martin Schimpf as interim president for this year while it geared up for a second presidential search.

“We have a solid interim president in place at Boise State, and with the academic year just beginning, this is the optimal time to start the search for Boise State’s next president,” Clark said in a written statement.

The initial, failed search at Boise State cost about $130,000, once expenses were calculated.

Clark will head up the screening committee, which will be responsible for vetting candidates that Storbeck Pimentel identifies for the Boise State job.

State officials were tight-lipped about why the initial search failed, with Clark saying that the State Board did not find “the perfect match to lead the institution forward.”

No doubt, many Boise State officials, alumni, boosters and community members are looking for the next president to build on Kustra’s momentum and take another step forward.

During Kustra’s tenure, he presided over $450 million in capital improvement projects, led the university at a time when its football program gained national prominence and oversaw a period of growth that culminated in record student enrollment in the fall of 2017.

“Boise State is on the move, and we want to make sure we don’t do anything to stop that momentum,” Clark said June 1.

Storbeck Pimentel was one of six headhunting firms that responded to a request for proposals for the Boise State search, State Board spokesman Mike Keckler said. A group of evaluators scored the proposals, and Boise State Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mark Heil signed a contract drawn up on Storbeck Pimentel letterhead on Friday. The group evaluating the proposals included Clark, State Board member David Hill, interim Boise State Interim Provost Tony Roark and Boise State Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Leslie Webb.

In the end, only the State Board of Education has the power to hire a new university president, and such a move must be voted on during a public meeting.


Clark Corbin

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